Monday, November 07, 2005

Welcome back to Amurica

On the final leg of our flight back, we had to give up our reserved seats because of our late arrival. Thanks to the nonsense over unloading and re-loading our baggage at the Atlanta airport, we made our flight only because we received permission of the pilot to board at the last moment. I was very, very tired from both the trip itself, and from jet lag. That was bad enough, but then I hit the jackpot with seatmate selection: I got a France-hating, New Orleans-hating Republican member of the armed forces. He was also a golfer, but I did my best not to hold that against him.

At least he was polite. I changed the subject whenever I could, but I had to hear about how no one should feel sorry for the people in New Orleans, and that the French people may have some good traits, but, you know...they betrayed us and are of no use to us. He went on and on, and I was grateful that the flight was only an hour in length. My patience was wearing thin.

What a rude shock, after spending two weeks listening to French and British people discuss how completely puzzling it is that George W. Bush is supposedly the president of the United States, and how alarmed they are at what is going on. I needed a little time to adjust, but the Cult of Bush assaulted me as soon as I hit land. Coming home to the unseasonably warm weather would have been bad enough.

7 Comments:

Ahh, see what isolationism does for the soul?

Your seatmate was probably comfortable in the fact that hey could spend his entire life in the country of his birth, secure in the knowledge that he can be surrounded by people just like him, with the same mindset.

Because, after all, those with different cultures, experiences and beliefs than yours are just damn foreigners and/or communists--not anyone one needs to accommodate or compromise with in order to get along.

BTW, it would've been fun to watch you wind him up if you'd asked him if the French sucked so bad, why did they save America's tushie in the Revolutionary war?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:49 AM  

Oh, Diane, this is what I was hoping you'd be able to avoid. Re-entry is so hard as it is. Sigh. I'm glad that you had some reprieve though in lovely France. I was thinking of you during the reports of rioting.

I remember leaving France on the ferry back to Dover, and db and I just happened to be in line w/ a young Australian guy who took it upon himself to yell at the top of his lungs that France sucked, and he was never coming back; the people were awful and the food worse, etc. We were mortified to think anyone would think we were travelling together so we beat a high retreat. Sadly, he glommed on to us, and we had to hear it for a while longer w/ feeble interjections from us that our experience didn't bear out his claims. If I hadn't been 21, I would've kicked his ass. It ain't easy. On that same trip, the American kids we met up w/ were so embarrassing that we sometimes claimed to be Canadian. Oy.

Welcome back!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:22 AM  

Thanks!

Since I've been back, the few people who know where I've been have just been envious. I went to see one of my doctors on Monday, and she said Paris was her top choice of a place to live if she could live anywhere in the world.

I don't know what all this problem is with French people. We found them extremely nice and helpful (with the exception of one total butthole of a waiter). I do have my problems with the French: their resistance to the rest of the EU's animal rights program (they are all upset because foie gras has finally been banned, thank goodness), and their unbelievably rude behavior at tennis tournaments (they cheer at double faults and things like that). But I have problems with the U.S. and with Canada, too. No place is perfect.

Bryan, if the flight had been any longer, I don't like to think about what I would have eventually said to Mr. Phony Patriot in the next seat.

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